Her­cules And Love Af­fair’s lat­est al­bum looks set to en­hance their own mythol­ogy. Andy But­ler opens his heart… and talks dirty to Marc An­drews.

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - More: The Feast Of The Bro­ken Heart is re­leased through Lib­er­a­tion. For more go to her­cule­san­daloveaf­fair.com

DNA: You’ve said you want this al­bum to be nasty and ag­gres­sive. Tell us more! Andy But­ler: I don’t know if nasty would be the right word, but ag­gres­sive, I guess so, yes. I wanted tough house pro­duc­tions, not f luffy deep house po­lite pro­duc­tions, which have been the name of the game in more main­stream dance mu­sic in the past year or so. The al­bum ti­tle sug­gests you’ve been through some tough times, is that right? That would be right, but so have many other people around me, er, some­times be­cause of me… What was the in­spi­ra­tion for most of the ma­te­rial here? Mem­o­ries of be­ing a teenage ru­n­away, find­ing warmth and my iden­tity in­side a rigged up ware­house space with some ridicu­lously good DJs play­ing and artists per­form­ing. You man­age to ride a fine line be­tween nu-disco and old school house. Do you think that’s a fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the band mu­si­cally? I pre­fer to call Her­cules popori­ented dance­able mu­sic with a kind of an­tipop/anti-commercial artsy streak. Do people al­ways as­sume that you are “Her­cules”? Yes, I am re­signed to it at this point. It was never the in­ten­tion but people in­ter­pret as they will. It doesn’t help that my shirt is off a lot. In gen­eral the pub­lic is mis­led cause Herc had way bet­ter abs than me [laughs]. Did EDM gob­ble up and spit out most dance mu­sic in its wake or not? EDM is mon­strous, but I don’t even re­ally con­sider it dance mu­sic as it does not make me dance, or want to. To me per­son­ally, it has had no im­pact on dance mu­sic. The rest of the world might be mis­led by it but I’m not con­cerned. It’s like run­ning into a zom­bie, if you have half a brain you re­al­ize the thing has no soul. Is dance mu­sic in good shape now? There are a lot of artists that are em­brac­ing dance­abil­ity, pop stars have been do­ing it for a while now with all the Ga­gas and Ri­han­nas and stuff. In­die bands like Ar­cade Fire are do­ing it disco style now, you have the min­i­mal kids adding vo­cals to their work and now house has been re­ally cham­pi­oned and res­ur­rected through kids like Dis­clo­sure and other 20-some­things. So it’s back, and I’d say it’s mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Is there such a thing now as gay dance mu­sic? I don’t think there is gay mu­sic but there is mu­sic that speaks to a gay ex­pe­ri­ence, namely songs of lib­er­a­tion, re­demp­tion and free­dom. That said, vo­cals and drama are good for the gay clubs. We like our an­thems, big singers and nar­ra­tives. Is there a big di­vide be­tween con­tem­po­rary hands in the air hits and sleazier un­der­ground more Berlin-like sounds? The two meet. Have you ever heard Ca­jmere or clas­sic Detroit chaps like Oc­tave One or Blake Bax­ter? Loopy techno house with vo­cals. What have been one of the best gigs you’ve played? Too many to name. The first time at the Panorama bar [at Berlin’s Berghain] was ma­jor. We just played Brussels live and had the most in­sane un­stop­pable au­di­ence re­ac­tion.

[Elec­tronic Dance Mu­sic] is like run­ning into a zom­bie, if you have half a brain you re­alise the thing has no soul.

Do you think gay club life has grown stale and tired? I don’t go out too much, but see­ing kids in New York play­ing the hip-hop game full-on now is very ex­cit­ing. There is a vi­brancy to the younger gen­er­a­tion. They are not so con­fined by rules of iden­tity. Mu­sic is eclec­tic, looks are eclec­tic, crowds are eclec­tic. What were your im­pres­sions of Aus­tralia when you were there? A beau­ti­ful place, the dudes are rugged and hot, the au­di­ences are up for fun and yes, I plan on re­turn­ing whether they want me there or not, pe­riod. What’s your mes­sage for your gay fans? Keep drink­ing the wa­ter cos it’s work­ing and bring your most lov­ing self to the party. Selfac­cep­tance and ac­cep­tance of our com­mu­nity are para­mount.

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